Plymouth holds inaugural maritime business expo
In connection with the Marine City Festival, the first Plymouth Maritime Business Expo was held on Plymouth Hoe. Organised by Plymouth Chamber of Commerce the expo gave local businesses with ties to the marine industries to meet and network as well as listen to key note speeches by
Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board and Lord Green, Minister for Trade and Investment.
Also present was council leader Tudor Evans, who opened the expo.
"The financial situation in this country has been a bit bumpy in recent years and I think we are going to see a slow climb back to growth. We are relying on people like you to help us. There are more than 300 marine related businesses in and around Plymouth and they employ 11 per cent of the city's work force, so it is a very important sector for the city," he told the gathered business leaders and representatives.
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Iain Gray said that the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the city could play a vital role in creating jobs and growth for Plymouth.
"It is important that cities develop and build on their strengths. From what I have seen of Plymouth, the maritime sector and coastal area is definitely a strength for this city. Over the last couple of years, 70 per cent of the Technology Strategy Board's grants have given to SMEs companies and I think they are highly important in this area," he said.
Justin Smith from local company Realfusion said the event let him meet with potential clients in the city.
"We are a business to business creative company, and the expo is a chance to meet with other companies," he said.
Rachel Cox from the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce said the event was designed to let businesses network with each other and the public.
"We hope to see around 1000 people come to the expo throughout the day. It is an opportunity for people to meet and make contacts and hopefully also means that business people from outside the region get a feel for what Plymouth has to offer.. It is then important that they follow up on those new contacts later," she said.